Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
U.S. stocks meandered in negative territory most of the day as trade rhetoric did little to sway investors and the collapse of talks between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un weighed on sentiment. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to meet again with President Donald Trump to continue nuclear negotiations after a two-day summit between the leaders collapsed Thursday amid discord over sanctions and conflicting accounts of Pyongyang’s demands. Kim’s pledge was released Friday through North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA in a report that presented a more optimistic outlook than the regime’s top diplomats gave in a rare news conference hours earlier. Kim expressed appreciation for Trump’s “active efforts toward results” and called the summit talks “productive.” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho previously disputed Trump’s claim that Kim had demanded a complete removal of economic sanctions -- which the U.S. president said led him to break off talks. Another top regime diplomat signaled a hardening stance, telling reporters Kim may have “lost the will” to make a deal on his country’s nuclear program.
Stocks Post First 3-Day Slide of Year
Asian shares looked set for a mixed start after U.S. stocks edge lower Thursday. The S&P 500 fell for a third consecutive day for the first time this year as lingering concerns over trade and geopolitical risks offset a report showing the economy cooled by less than expected last quarter. The dollar climbed and Treasury yields increased. “With this positive momentum, investors are just looking for a little bit of a pause,” said Gene Goldman, chief investment officer at Cetera Investment Management. “Now on the docket is what’s next? We had some data reports and GDP today, but that’s still two month-old data, so investors need some more news.”
Trade Deal Near?
The U.S. and China are on the cusp of a “historic” agreement that would commit Beijing to cut subsidies for state-owned companies and disclose when its central bank intervenes in currency markets, Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said in an interview Thursday on CNBC. “The progress has been terrific,” he said. “We have to hear from President Xi and the Politburo of course, but I think we’re headed toward a remarkable historic deal.” The Asian nation has also pledged to “de-emphasize” its plans to dominate in emerging technologies, outlined in its Made-in-China 2025 plan, he added. Still, Trump said during a press conference in Hanoi Thursday: “I am always prepared to walk. I’m never afraid to walk from a deal, and I would do that with China, too, if it didn’t work out.”
China’s MSCI Bump
MSCI Inc. will increase fourfold the weighting of China-listed shares in benchmark indexes tracked by global investors, a decision that could see billions of dollars flow into one of the world’s most volatile major stock markets. The increase will occur in three steps, the New York-based firm said in a statement Thursday, saying the initial inclusion in its indexes has been “a positive experience for international institutional investors” that fostered an appetite for more. Shares listed on the tech-heavy ChiNext board will join MSCI indexes for the first time in 2019. The ramp-up is happening faster than expected given that China’s stocks only gained a place in MSCI’s global indexes last year, and comes as Beijing courts international capital with a slew of steps to improve market access. UBS Group AG forecasts flows of around $12.5 billion into China this year stemming from MSCI, as well as FTSE Russell, adding the nation’s stocks to their indexes.
Pakistan Said to Use U.S. Fighters
India accused Pakistan of using U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets in its raid in Kashmir, opening up a potential diplomatic row over the aircraft’s deployment by one American ally against another. India said it scrambled MiG-21 Bison, Su-30 MKI and Mirage-2000 aircraft to intercept Pakistan’s jets and has evidence, including the wreckage of an AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile fired by a Pakistani F-16. “There is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission and Pakistan is trying to hide this fact,” Kapoor said at a joint briefing by India’s armed forces. Pakistani “aircraft attempting to target military installations were intercepted by IAF fighter aircraft, which thwarted their plans.”
What we’ve been reading:
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Trump gives North Korea a pass on human rights.
- Chasing China theft, U.S. uncovers bonuses for stolen data.
- Huawei pleads not guilty in U.S. case.
- India’s growth slows amid spat with Pakistan.
- What peak car will mean for the auto industry around the world.
- Eye creams that can disguise how tired your are.
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